State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPMC) and Pharma Zone (Pvt.) Ltd entered into an agreement to build the first-ever exclusive pharmaceutical manufacturing zone in Sri Lanka in the Welipenna area of the Kalutara District, at an investment in excess of US $ 10 million.
Pharma Zone (Pvt.) Ltd, located on a 50-acre plot, is a Board of Investment-approved company, the principals of which are Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Sultan Iskandar and Patrick Lim Soo Kit, a leading Malaysian entrepreneur.
The sultan’s investment vehicle, Inti Kemuncak Sdn Bhd, is a well-established property development company based in Malaysia focusing on large-scale property development in the Asian region.
Inti Kemuncak is the innovative developer of major townships and urban regeneration projects, including Coronation Square, a US $ 1.2 billion international class urban mixed development located within the prestigious Ibrahim International Business District (IIBD) in Johor Bahru.
Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne along with other representatives of SPMC and Pharma Zone (Pvt.) Ltd participated in the agreement signing, which took place yesterday evening at Waters Edge.`
Pharma Zone will facilitate the local pharmaceutical manufacturers with sufficient land for manufacturing plants and basic infrastructure facilities for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products with a view to achieving the government’s target of localising production of essential pharmaceutical items to a value of US $ 100 million, thus saving valuable foreign exchange.
Dr. Senaratne expressed his gratitude to the sultan and people of Johor, Malaysia for making Pharma Zone a reality.
He said that the establishment of Pharma Zone by the sultan of Johor would hopefully give confidence and encourage other overseas investors to follow suit.
“We are delighted to enter into this agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka, which has always enjoyed warm relations with Malaysia. It is the fervent wish of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, that this venture not only brings commercial prosperity to Sri Lanka but also benefits the people by way of reduced pricing as well as the ready availability of drugs,” said Kit.
“This is a 100 percent Malaysian investment and it underlines the high regard that the sultan and people of Johor for Sri Lanka,” he added.
SPMC Chairman Dr. Sayura Samarasundara said that with the completion of Pharma Zone envisaged to be in operation within one year, the country’s dependency on imported drugs will soon become a thing of the past.
The zone will be run and administered by Pharma Zone, headed by Kit, while SPMC along with the Health Ministry will set the standards and monitor quality.
Electricity, water, road infrastructure, security, waste water management, etc. will all be provided to the companies operating within the zone and it is the intention of Pharma Zone to attract overseas investors to set up operations within the zone as well.
“We will be marketing Pharma Zone regionally,” said Lim.